What are the reasons for the partial success of indirect rule in the west? Indirect rule faced a lot of criticism and support from different parts of Nigeria when it was first introduced in the country. In the East, the system was a total failure because of some reasons which i explained in my previous article. On the other hand, the system succeeded in the North because it was friendly with their pre-colonial political system.
In western Nigerian, indirect rule was supported and criticized at the same time. It was partially a success and partially a failure. Now, the question will be “Why did indirect rule partially succeeded in the west?“. Well, that is the same question this article seeks to answer. As we continue, i will give you some of the reasons for the partial success of indirect rule in western region of Nigeria.
Also see: Why indirect rule failed in Eastern Nigeria
Why indirect rule partially succeeded in the west
1. The Limited powers of Obas: In my last article about the pre-colonial administration od the Yorubas (west), i explained how the principle of checks and balances control the west.
This indirectly contributed to the failure of indirect rule in west because, unlike the Emir in the north, Obas in the west are check and they are not free to act in any way they can.
2. Education: Education played a significant role in the partial success of the system of indirect rule in the west. At the time the system was introduced In the west, majority of the Yorubas were highly educated that they questioned the rationale of indirect rule. These educated people were the ones that started kicking against the system because,there was no morality in colonialism.
Also see: Why indirect rule succeeded in Northern Nigeria
3. Less submissiveness of the people: Another reason why the system partially succeeded in the West was because, the subjects were not as submissive as their counterparts in the North.This made them not to accept indirect rule blindly.
4. Religion: Majority of the Yorubas were christians and Christianity is not as conservative as its counterpart in the North-islam.Christians therefore questioned the reasons for the introduction of indirect rule.
5. Restoring authority In the Alafin Of Oyo: It is generally believed that the attempt made by lugard to restore authority in Yorubaland to the Alaafin Of Oyo instead of Ooni of Ife contributed immensely to the partial success of indirect rule in the West. The Yorubas believe that ile-Ife is their first home because, their forefathers led by Oduduwa landed there when they migrated from Mecca.
That mistake made by lugard earned him hatred from the people, hence the partial rejection of his system of government.
6. Absence Of Highly Centralised Administration: The Yorubas unlike the Hausa/Fulanis , did not have highly Centralised system of administration , hence, the partial success of the system of indirect rule of lord lugard.
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7. Absence Of Well Organised System Of Taxation: This made it difficult to raise money for the administration to thrive well since British government was not ready to involve heavily in financial responsibilities in its colonial. A new system of taxation imposed on the people caused riots in every part of Yorubaland like Abeokuta, Ikire, Iseyin, etc.
8. Disregard of Treaty: The influential class of western educated elite in ii Lugard’s action on bringing Abeokuta under the protectorate government in 1914 and extension of indirect rule of Egbaland as serious disregard of 1893 treaty. In that 1893 treaty signed by British government, it granted a quasi-independent status to Abeokuta which it’s violation by Lugard’s actions sparked off violent protests.
9. Subordination of Ibadon To Oyo: Lugard’s mistake of trying to make Ibadon which had been recognized as a Yoruba state in the 1890s subordinate to Oyo contributed to the failure of the system of indirect rule in western region.
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10. Alienation Of Education Elites: The educated elites in Western region criticised and rejected indirect rule system mainly because, they were not allowed to take part in the administration. Whereas all the assignments were given to traditional rulers, the educated elites were sharply alienated, disregarded and above all frustrated.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.